Foreclosure Dismissed – Citibank Has No Standing

foreclosure defense lawyersIn a case before Justice Lizbeth Gonzalez, in the Supreme Court of Bronx County, the judge dismissed a foreclosure lawsuit brought by Citibank.

Citibank had filed a foreclosure proceeding against a homeowner named McCray. They had taken this action on behalf of a Bears Stearns Alt-A Trust. McCray brought a motion requesting the foreclosure lawsuit be dismissed. He argued Citibank had lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. Citibank claimed it had standing to bring the lawsuit because it was the holder of the original note.

Holder or Assignee of the Note and Mortgage

Judge Gonzalez in her decision stated a foreclosing party in a foreclosure lawsuit has standing when they are both the holder or assignee of the mortgage and underlying note at the time the action is commenced.

Citibank’s attorneys had argued they were the holder of the note. However, their legal submissions did not state they also were the holder of the mortgage.

Motion to Dismiss Case Granted

Judge Gonzalez found that there was no proof submitted by Citibank they were the holder of both the mortgage and the note at the time of the initiation of the lawsuit. The court therefore granted McCray’s motion to dismiss. Judge Gonzalez found that Citibank did not submit adequate proof it had the right to the debt in the absence of documentation of chain of custody and proof the mortgage and notes were lawfully assigned and held by it prior to commencing the lawsuit. Since Citibank did not establish and meet the requirements they had standing to bring the foreclosure lawsuit, Judge Gonzalez held that they did not have standing to foreclose and their foreclosure lawsuit was dismissed.

Conclusion

Before a financial institution can bring a foreclosure lawsuit they must be able to prove that they are the holder of both the note and mortgage. In addition, they must show that the mortgage has been rightfully assigned to them and the assignment was properly filed. The documentation of the assignment, the possession of both the note and the mortgage, should be attached to the summons and complaint in the foreclosure legal action. If the financial institution does not do this, the court should dismiss the case for lack of standing.

assistance for homeownersElliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure defense attorney. His office has helped homeowners in scores of cases fight foreclosures and remain in their homes.

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